Parents’ Perceptions of Skin Cancer Threat and Children’s Physical Activity
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 9.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Body Mass Index
Severity Of Illness Index
Sun exposure is a major risk factor for skin cancer, but without physical activity, children are at risk of childhood obesity. The objective of this study was to explore relationships between parental perceptions of skin cancer threat, sun protection behaviors, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI) in children.
This is a cross-sectional analysis nested within the Colorado Kids Sun Care Program sun safety intervention trial. In summer 2007, parent telephone interviews provided data on demographics, perceptions of skin cancer threat, sun protection behaviors, and physical activity. Physical examinations provided data on phenotype, freckling, and BMI. Data from 999 Colorado children born in 1998 were included in analysis. We used analysis of variance, Spearman’s rho (ρ) correlation, and multivariable linear regression analysis to evaluate relationships with total amount of outdoor physical activity.
After controlling for sex, race/ethnicity, skin color, and sun protection, regression analysis showed that each unit increase in perceived severity of nonmelanoma skin cancer was associated with a 30% increase in hours of outdoor physical activity (P = .005). Hours of outdoor physical activity were not related to perceived severity of melanoma or perceived susceptibility to skin cancer. BMI-for-age was not significantly correlated with perceptions of skin cancer threat, use of sun protection, or level of physical activity.
The promotion of sun safety is not likely to inhibit physical activity. Skin cancer prevention programs should continue to promote midday sun avoidance and sun protection during outdoor activities.
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